Think of Charlie Chaplin. How do you picture him?
Big shoes, hat and cane?
Now think of Sir Winston Churchill. How do you picture him?
Dark suit, bow tie with a cigar perhaps?
And lastly Napoleon. What springs to mind?
In full military regalia with a bicorne hat, surely?
The way we visualise a famous name has a great influence on our collecting habits.
Collectors pay a premium for memorabilia from famous figure's iconic guises.
It's why a signed photo of Charlie Chaplin in his famous "tramp" get-up is worth considerably more than a signed photo of Chaplin in his lounge suit.
It's why our sister company PFC Auctions recently sold a Churchill half-smoked La Aroma de Cuba cigar for £1,200 ($1,880).
And it's why a bicorne hat worn by Napoleon sold for $2.2m this week.
Of course, there's more at play here than simply iconic imagery. The fact that Chaplin, Churchill and Napoleon are among the most coveted names in collecting also has much to do with the strong prices.
And in Napoleon's case, the fact that only three (at most) Napoleon bicornes remain in private hands.
Yet the fact remains. Iconic imagery sells.
How should this influence your collecting?
If you want to be the envy of your fellow collectors, acquire pieces connected with a celebrity's most famous guise.
Not only will you build a collection of highly covetable collectibles, you may also be building a collection of considerable investment value.
After all, the only way to make money from collecting is to acquire the pieces other collectors want.
Looking for a specific item for your collection?
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